We had a great meal at Emeril’s. We let them know when we made our reservation that we wanted the chef to prepare a tasting menu for us.
This was the fourth or fifth time we’ve done this and it is just a wonderful experience. As with any of the celebrity chef chain restaurants, the chefs normally need to follow the formula set out for them. By asking for the tasting menu, I think the chef gets the opportunity to be creative and in this case, James Richards ran with it. We also opted for a wine pairing and our sommelier, Scott McSimov, was great.
We started with a glass of Roederer champagne accompanied by oysters two ways – first chilled with a raspberry granita, lovely greens with a lemony dressing, followed by an oyster shooter which was slightly warm in a cream, bacon and tarragon sauce. The shooter was a standout for the evening.
We then progressed to a light white and I did not keep good track of the wines. We had a lake fish from Iowa accompanied by ramps in an onion vinegar dressing with a few roasted potatoes. It was very tasty, light and delicious.
The next course was a lovely perfectly cooked risotto with fresh peas and seared scallops. This was finished with manchego cheese and a dash of chardonnay vinegar to bring out the flavor of the wine pairing for this course.
The next course was a take on smoked salmon. It was salmon roasted on a cedar plank with some chopped egg and roasted tomatoes. I’m not a great fan of smokey flavors but the chef should get an A for effort and creativity. This was paired with a Pinot which worked well with the bolder flavor.
The final savory course was very unusually prepared using what I think was the Modernist technique. The ribeye was frozen solid, then seared with a blow torch (if I remember correctly), then cooked for hours. I think the intent is that it becomes very tender and remains rare throughout without the gray edge. This was paired with morels, mashed potatoes and a generous amount of very tasty foie gras. The accompanying full-bodied wine from Spain was a good match – Numanthia Termes. The steak was not as tender as I expected, but was very tasty.
We ended with a lovely dessert wine – Kracher from Austria - the famous banana cream pie and a turtle cheesecake.
All of the portions were very generous and we could really only have a bite or two of dessert.
During dinner, we learned that there is a kitchen table where we can also have this experience. We may opt for that if there are more than two of us, but our corner booth was very comfortable and we consider this a not-to-be-missed dinner each time we visit Vegas. We finished the evening with a tour of the kitchen and an invitation to return at lunch the next day for the famous Po-Boy. We were in a food coma and passed on this, regretfully. The dinner was $90pp with $55pp for the wine pairing.
Worth a try.